Pretoria: Deputy Secretary-General's remarks to Memorial for Winnie Mandela

A screengrab of ANCWL members at a memorial service for Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Soweto

A screengrab of ANCWL members at a memorial service for Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Soweto

Smith paid homage to her revolutionary spirit, and her role in the struggle: "They were not planning for a woman..."

"Today, as we remember her", he said, "the United Nations reaffirms its commitment to the ideals of equality, justice and humanity for all". "No matter what the circumstances are you need to do what you feel is right". I still hoped she would live longer.

"My prevailing memory of her is that she was at a lot of funerals in Orlando, she was like uGogo like the rest of the grannies in Soweto and I knew her firstly as that", Mbete said. "I stand here to mourn my mother and to celebrate her life", she said.

While once she was shunned by South Africa's political elite, including her own party the ANC, in death she has been nearly universally lauded. She was not prepared to choose between the two.

Instead, she remained embedded in the community where she met Nelson Mandela at a bus stop in 1957.

"Mama was like a mother I never had". She lived the first 50 years of her life under a violent racial apartheid system and now she goes on to live in eternal peace. If she is possible then I am possible too.

"Faced with the most heinous of racist and discriminatory regimes, she helped lead the way in showing what it takes to overcome such tyranny - strength, defiance and courage", he said. President Cyril Ramaphosa said Winnie Mandela "bore the brunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude". "But she did it". Her Xhosa name was Nomzamo (She who tries).

Although she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political profession after the primary free elections in 1994.

"My brother was already in exile when I was born in 1979, and Winnie fought so that our family could be reunited". I would do everything I did again if I had to.

In old age Winnie Mandela emerged as a respected elder who was feted as a living reminder of her late husband - and of the long and celebrated struggle against apartheid. Why didn't you do the same to her male counterparts and remind the world of the many crimes they did before they were called saints.

Tortured and subjected to repeated house arrest, she was kept under surveillance and, in 1977, banished to a remote town in another province. "She was one of us". Ever since we announced that my mother had departed this world, we've been comforted and strengthened in our hour of grief and weakness by your love, your messages, your visitations, and above all your testimonies of what my mother meant to each of you.

"Further, we believe it puts journalists at serious risk of physical harm and having their credibility unnecessarily questioned.Those who have concrete evidence of any such wrongdoing by journalists working in South Africa at the height of apartheid should come forward", Sanef said.

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